A preclinical view of cholinesterase inhibitors in neuroprotection: do they provide more than symptomatic benefits in Alzheimer's disease?

Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, Guy's Campus, St Thomas Street, Kings College London, London SE1 1UL, UK.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.25). 03/2005; 26(2):104-11. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative condition whose greatest risk factor is old age, is expected to rise dramatically during the next five decades, along with the trend for increased longevity. Early diagnosis and intervention with therapies that halt or slow disease progress are likely to represent an important component of effective treatment. Although much progress has been made in this area, there are currently no clinically approved interventions for AD that are classed as disease modifying or neuroprotective. Cholinesterase inhibitors are a drug class used for the symptomatic treatment of AD. Recent evidence from preclinical studies indicates that these agents can attenuate neuronal damage and death from cytotoxic insults, and therefore might affect AD pathogenesis. The mechanisms by which these actions are mediated might or might not be directly related to their primary mode of action.

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